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  • A Mapuche plays his Trutruca in Santiago, Chile.

    A Mapuche plays his Trutruca in Santiago, Chile. | Photo: EFE

Published 27 April 2019

Aside from messages of protest, Wechekeche Ni Trawun hope that their music will inspire future generations of Mapuches to wear their identity with pride.

Mapuche Chilean rap group Wechekeche Ni Trawun - which means "young people together" - is using rhythm and lyricism to deliver the message of the Indigenous community's fight for their rights. 

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The Mapuche people have, for centuries, experienced their lands being seized by Spanish colonizers since the 16th century, and their territorial control fell to just five percent of the former 500 kilometers south of the country's Biobo River.

Group member Rapper Filutraru Paillafilu expressed the importance of music in the Mapuche's fight for justice and land rights. "Music plays a crucial role, it accompanies the process of the struggle."

The struggle has often reached the point of violence. The government has often ignored claims of Mapuche-related deaths and failing to acknowledge the reason behind the demonstrations.

Wechekeche Ni Trawun counters the government's position by creating music that highlights the theft of Indigenous peoples' land and the violence experienced by their community at the hands of the state 


"The group Wechekeche ni Trawun group shares their music live."
 

Aside from messages of protest, the group also hope that their music will inspire future generations of Mapuches to wear their identity with pride. Carolina, a teacher, and fan of the group endorsed the concept and stated that "we're all mixed. Mapudungun should be taught at school so that our children are aware of our country's interculturality."

Wechekeche Ni Trawun was founded in 2004, and their concerts are normally highly anticipated and attended by many fans. The group's music combines elements of rap, rock, salsa, cumbia, and R&B in order to deliver their message to as wide of an audience as possible.

Lyrics are both in Spanish and their native Mapudungun.

Proceeds from performances often go towards supporting the community. The most recent instance of the group's humanitarian contribution was using funds raised at a Santiago concert to send a sick child abroad for medical treatment. 

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